In preparation for the 2024 Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, Edo State intending pilgrims have been reminded of the critical importance of meeting the December 31 deadline for payment of Hajj fare and complying with the necessary documentation and legal directives before April 29, 2024.

The chairman of the Edo State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Sheikh Ibrahim Oyarekhua stressed that adherence to these requirements is essential for a smooth and successful pilgrimage experience comes 2024.

With the imminent deadline approaching, Sheikh Oyarekhua reiterated that all intending pilgrims must ensure completion of the necessary paperwork, including visa applications, medical certificates, and travel documentation before April 29, 2024.

He added that prompt payment of the Hajj fare by the specified deadline of December 31, 2023 remains a crucial step in securing a place for the pilgrimage.

Speaking to stakeholders recently, he emphasized the significance of timely compliance, highlighting that failure to meet the payment deadline might result in forfeiture of the allocated slot for the state.

According to him, “The payment deadline of December 31 which is already here is very crucial. The directive from NAHCON is that issuance of visa will commence March 3, and end April 29 2024.

“It’s important to know that as a state, if our intending pilgrims failed to meet the payment deadline, it might result to forfeiture of the allocated slots. That is why the board is working hard to sensitize the people. Hajj is not how we used to run it. Things have changed.

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“As a board, we have been going round with messages to the various Jumah mosques across the state, we have been engaging with local community leaders, we have been on radio, newspapers and social media, sensitizing people on these new developments”

Additionally, he urged intending pilgrims to stay updated with the latest announcements and guidelines issued by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON)

Local community leaders and officials from the Edo State Muslim Welfare Board have been actively engaging with intending pilgrims, offering guidance and assistance to ensure that individuals have access to the necessary resources and information required for completing the documentation process and meeting financial obligations.

The December 31 deadline serves as a pivotal milestone for intending pilgrims, underscoring the need for proactive action in fulfilling financial commitments by intending pilgrims.

Sheikh Oyarekhua urged all prospective pilgrims to promptly address any pending requirements especially as it concerns international passport to avoid complications and ensure their participation in this sacred journey.

He warned:”Process your passport early. If you have any challenge, let us know. There is a strong collaboration with the Nigeria Immigration Authority to facilitate issuance of passports for our intending pilgrims. Do not pay your Hajj fare and neglect passport and other requirements”

As the deadline draws nearer, the officials of the Edo State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board continue to extend support to intending pilgrims, encouraging them to expedite the completion of necessary documentation and payment processes, thus ensuring a seamless and spiritually fulfilling Hajj experience for all participants comes 2024.